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Wolf Parade [rank: 69]

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Wolf Parade

Spencer Krug sweats a lot. Which is understandable, considering he's a driving force behind Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, Moonface and 17 other bands. His slacker bandmate, Dan Boeckner, has only one side project, Handsome Furs. Keyboardist and sound manipulator, Hadji Bakara, has a side project called academia, which he somehow continues whilst living the indie rock dream.

Wolf Parade, like most indie rock bands, is from Canada. In Canada, high school guidance counselors are required to point juniors and seniors down the path of indie rockdom. "You're lazy, disrespectful and have no clear goals in life, but damn it son, you're Canadian, so get out there and get yourself on Pitchfork."

In all fairness, Wolf Parade is an incredibly talented band, attracting a steadily increasing number of dedicated fans to their high-energy shows (thanks, in part, to the promotional efforts of a fellow named Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse). Their music is lively and inventive, a rich layering of seemingly incongruous sounds that commands movement. Which brings us back to Spencer Krug, hunched intensely over his keyboards, towel hanging from his shoulder, sweat pouring from his head, leading the band through one feverishly paced song after another.

Something should also be said for the fanciful lyrics that flow through Wolf Parade's songs, teeming with hungry ghosts, stolen voices and falling parapets. These whimsical words come together with the band's oddly orchestrated melodies to form a wonderful tide of anachronism. Towels can only do so much.

[ira]

 

Bandega Interview with Hadji Bakara of Wolf Parade (August 2008)

The sound manipulator steps up to the mic.

Q: How have your shows changed over the years? Has your perspective on performing live changed?
A: I think the degree to which a band can maintain a kind of consistency in the general feeling of their live show is really important, and very important to Wolf Parade in general, which in many ways has kinda become more of a live band than a studio band. And by consistency I don't mean that every night it sounds the same (which in the case of wolf parade is definitely not true) but that a band maintains the intensity and abandoned that usually attends the nascent performances of a live band. When you see a young band play early in their career, they are often full of enthusiasm and energy, but then two years later you see them in a 1000 person venue and there remains very little of that nebulous enthusiasm; instead they seem bored and self indulgent. For us, the point of live shows I think is return to the spontaneous moment of creation and to kind of relive it as a performance, and hopefully bring the crowd with us in that return. So for the most part, other than the crowds getting bigger and our gear being slightly better, I really don't think that our live show has changed that much. I would hope that we remain a punk band no matter how many people we are playing to or how austere the venue.

Q: Describe the most memorable live show you've played.
A: Probably the first time we played in Helsinki (to which we have returned many times). It was in a tiny Bar to about 100-150 people, and it was just a straight up Ramones show or something, we probably sounded like shit but, like most good shows, noone really cared anyway. People were so enthuisiastic and appreciative of the music, and it forged alot of relationships and friendships that remain strong today.

Q: What venue do you consider to be your "home", where you feel most comfortable, with the crowd and the place itself?
A: Probably the Sala Rosa in Montreal; it is our home town and we played a lot of our first shows there. Last year we played there four nights in a row; it was comfortable and indeed felt like home. Last night we played at the crystal Ballroom in Portland for about the 5th time though, and every show we play there is always a blast. The circle pit is usually going before the first chord is struck.

Q: Describe the most enjoyable show you've ever experienced as a fan.
A: Probably the numerous times I saw Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as a child with my father; but aside from the nostalgia of that, I really enjoy watching both Comets on Fire and The Constantines play live. I actually rarely go to see rock shows, but I always make and exception for those bands. There is something beautiful and transcendental about their music when played live.

Q: In addition to being Wolf Parade's keyboardist, you are also the band's master of "sound manipulation". According to Wikipedia, this is an actual superhero power. We at Bandega think this is just fantastic. Please let us know the origin of this role and what exactly you do (and have done) in your capacity as sound manipulator.
A: This title has always kind of eluded me actually. I think it stems from Arlen writing the credits for the first EP and crediting me as the electronic manipulator. I guess the origin being that use a lot of weird equipment (modular synthesizer and theremin) and thus I kind of come off looking somewhat wizard-like. I generally try to make things sound as weird and non-traditional as possible. I find synth-rock generally pretty boring, so for me it's all about the textures and ambience of the sounds, so in the studio I do alot of manipulating....i guess.

Show Reviews for Wolf Parade

Date & Venue Reviewed by
Jul 17, 2008 - Fillmore Auditorium popup lexicon
Sep 12, 2007 - Great American Music Hall popup ira
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